Texas Tech got fed up with all the West Virginia talk early on this week.
The Mountaineers had the shiny national ranking and the ballyhooed quarterback, the team everybody across the country was talking about.
The Red Raiders weren't impressed.
“I don’t feed into the hype,” safety D.J. Johnson said days before teams met.
Tech assured its defense was up to the task against Geno Smith and company. The offense, they added, was capable of keeping pace with anyone.
Tech proved those claims and then some on Saturday during one of the biggest wins of the Tommy Tuberville era, a 49-14 triumph over the No. 5 Mountaineers.
It was Tuberville’s sixth career coaching win against a team ranked in the top five, and it was Tech’s most lopsided win ever against a team with such a ranking.
As the final gun sounded, players drenched Tuberville in an icy Gatorade bath and students poured onto the field in celebration.
“I always wanted to be a part of that,” said quarterback Seth Doege, who authored a career performance with 499 yards and six touchdown passes. “That was awesome.”
The Red Raiders dominated so completely that it was hard to pick out which unit impressed the most.
“This is truly a team, city and university win,” Tuberville said. “I couldn’t be any prouder of them.”
Tech held West Virginia, a team averaging 59 points per game in its first two Big 12 contests, to just a pair of scores, one of them coming with the outcome no longer in question.
The Red Raiders applied pressure to Smith, who had garnered early Heisman Trophy talk, and kept close tabs on his speedy receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey.
Even with the loss of senior cornerback Cornelius Douglas, who exited with a knee bruise in the first quarter, Tech’s secondary was stellar against the vaunted West Virginia passing attack. Tre Porter excelled in coverage against the shifty Austin, and backup corner Bruce Jones broke up several deep passes.
“Bruce had a huge game,” Johnson said.
Doege, meanwhile, overcame a rough performance against Oklahoma one week earlier to put together one of his best career games. He completed 32 of 42 passes and tossed only one incompletion in the second half. His lone interception came on a ball that was on target but squirted out of the hands of Alex Torres.
Offensive coordinator Neal Brown said he believed Doege was “sitting on a big performance,” and the senior delivered.
“I can’t say enough about the kid,” Brown said. “He came out and played loose, and he was on point.”
Doege raved about the protection he was provided. He was sacked just once and was rarely pressured, giving the game, he said, the feel of 7-on-7 skeleton drills in practice, when he faces no pass rush.
The fluky turnover was one of the rare times Tech’s offense came up short. The home team scored on its opening drive, going 75 yards in six plays. The series ended in a 39-yard touchdown pass to Jace Amaro, who had a career day of his own. The 6-foot-5, 257-pound tight end caught five passes for 156 yards.
Amaro took a huge hit at the end of the first half, and Tuberville said the tight end was throwing up during most of the halftime break. But he returned to the game and caught a 27-yard pass that helped Tech set up a touchdown in the third quarter that put the Red Raiders up, 42-7.
“He is already a great player,” Doege said of Amaro, “but he’s going to be one of the top players in the nation one day.”
Darrin Moore caught nine passes for 92 and a three touchdowns — tying a career high — two of them in the second half. Doege’s touchdown passes went for 39, 19, 16, 2, 29 and 7 yards.
The Red Raiders (5-1, 2-1 in Big 12 Conference) never slowed down after their opening score. The knockout punch may have come before halftime. With only 35 seconds left in the second quarter, SaDale Foster beat West Virginia defenders to the corner and turned on the jets for a 53-yard touchdown that put Tech up 35-7.
With West Virginia’s quick-strike capability, that lead didn’t seem 100 percent safe, but the Tech defense made sure it was.
“I think we’re back to where we want to be,” said Tech safety Cody Davis, who registered a season-high 13 tackles. “Everybody was wanting to know how it feels to face the great offense and the Heisman hopeful. We get excited for that. You can see it out there on the field. Everybody came ready to play, and we played great defense.”
The Red Raiders constantly harassed Smith, who came into the game completing 81 percent of his passes but connected on just 29 of 55 attempts for 275 yards and one touchdown.
“Their D-line did a great job of being aggressive the entire game,” Smith said. “They pinned their ears back, and they were coming after me.”
West Virginia running back Andrew Buie, who rushed for a career-high 207 yards last week, was limited to 71 yards on 21 carries.
The Mountaineers (5-1, 2-1) scored 70 points three weeks ago, but they could never find rhythm against a Tech defense that missed few tackles and gave up even fewer big plays.
“I don’t know if we had anybody doing anything spectacular,” Tech defensive coordinator Art Kaufman said, “but we had everybody doing their jobs.”
The unit stepped up when it needed to most, limiting the Mountaineers to one of six fourth-down conversions. One week earlier, West Virginia was five-for-five in such situations during a 48-45 win against Texas.
After scoring on its second drive, West Virginia didn’t score again until less than 3 minutes remained in the game.
Tech can become bowl eligible with a win next week against TCU in Fort Worth.
After a dominating day in Lubbock, though, it appears the Red Raiders have their sights set much higher than that.
“Our ultimate goal,” Johnson said, “is to get that crystal ball, that Big 12 championship.”
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